Landing a new job can often feel like a serendipitous event — when in reality, it takes a great deal of effort, determination, and planning. No one knows this as well as Jacquelyn Olson, who after drastically pivoting her career, connected with her new employer at this year’s A2 Tech Trek.
Formally trained in the culinary arts, Jacquelyn was ready for a different challenge. After determining she wanted to pursue a career in tech, she started developing her coding skills. In 2018, she graduated from the Front-End Coding Bootcamp at Grand Circus Detroit. Afterward, she began her job hunt. According to Jacquelyn, “I had a lot of phone interviews, but nothing was panning out.” In January 2019, Jacquelyn began volunteering as an event organizer with tech[inclusive], a group dedicated to fostering professional growth for underrepresented people in tech, and empowering allies to become advocates.
“Coming into the tech community in Ann Arbor, it’s so warm and welcoming,” said Jacquelyn. “Everyone is so friendly and helpful, wanting to share knowledge that they think will be beneficial. It’s been quite a wonderful experience.”
While the right job opportunity didn’t emerge right away, Jacquelyn continued to build her resume and develop skills with side projects. To cover herself financially, Jacquelyn was substitute teaching in Ann Arbor. “Once the school year ended, I knew it was time to make this happen. I’ve built up my skill set, and I knew the time was now.”
That time ended up being during A2 Tech Trek. Armed with a pile of resumes, Jacquelyn started introducing herself to the nearly 100 participating tech companies. “I attended Tech Trek last year, but due to time conflicts and constraints, I only got to experience about 45 minutes. This year, I was on a mission.”
Mission accomplished! After Jacquelyn chatted with InfoReady — a six-time FastTrack Award-winning company and A2 Tech Trek participating company — the Ann Arbor-based software company invited her in for an interview just two days later. According to Maurice Collins, InfoReady chief operating officer, “For some time, we were looking for the right candidate to fill an early career position within the organization. We wanted an energetic and engaging individual with great communication skills who was ready to work in a high-energy team environment tackling a variety of responsibilities, from customer support to product development and coding. This particular mix is what proved to be challenging.”
A week after her interview, and just 10 days after Tech Trek, Jacquelyn began her new job with InfoReady. Summing things up quite nicely, Jacquelyn said, “It was a very fast process because we all realized pretty quickly it was a good fit.”
Interested in working in the Ann Arbor region? Check out the SPARK job portal and launch your next career!